The A to Z Challenge asks bloggers to post 26 posts, one for each letter of the English alphabet, in April. Most of us choose to make these posts on a particular theme. My theme for 2022 is Codebreaking in World War II, which fits with the topic of the novel that I’m writing. Visit every day (except Sunday) in April for a new post on my topic.
S is for Secrecy Oath
As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, the secrecy around cryptanalysis makes it a minor miracle that we’ve learned anything about the people who did this work or what it entailed.
In the 1970s and 80s, some men from the higher echelons, who continued to work in government after the war, began to tell their own stories. From there, researchers started to uncover government documents and conduct interviews.
Most people who worked in cryptanalysis during the war went on to other careers later in life – especially, the thousands of women who the government only expected to work for the duration. These women didn’t know that they had been released from the secrecy oaths that they took during the war. Many died with their families still believing that they worked as secretaries or file clerks during the war.
Women took their secrecy oath seriously, and they came from a generation when women did not expect—or receive—credit for achievement in public life. They did not constitute the top brass, and they did not write the histories afterward, nor the first-person memoirs. (p. 19, Code Girls by Liza Mundy)
Do you know anyone who did war work? Do you know what they did? Are you sure?